Unfortunately, I’m going to have to make a new email address which is a pain, but I just had to delete over 300 emails, all from the same guy: Stalker. My whole life practically comes through my email. My paypal, my contacts, my student loans, my bill receipts! On top of that, there’s a chance he will find out my new email, because I can’t really keep it a secret from everyone or I’ll be isolating myself, and I already feel like my life is as remote as possible. I understand that he’s mentally unstable and desperately needs help, but right now I hate him. I wish he would die in a car crash.
I got a few emails from him that I was set on deleting, but I opened a few with the intentions of not replying, and he’s prepared to blackmail me by posting everything I ever confided with him about on all the sites I frequent, including GA, then he’d start telling everyone in my actual life all the same stuff. I felt like my stomach dropped to the floor because, like an idiot, I’ve told him a lot about myself. I trusted him at one point and I told him things that I have only told two other people: Chris and Jamie.
The first thing I did was reach out to most of the admins, including GA, and they’ve been very understanding and supportive which I’m deeply moved by, but Stalker is hard to track down, block, and ban. I don’t even know what username he’s using on here, but if anyone has PMed you about me at all that seems suspicious, please relay it to an admin. I also reached out to my in laws and what family I have left and warned them about Stalker’s intentions, and most of them assured me that whatever he tried to tell them, it would not matter.
But it does matter, TO ME, to the point where I’m having suicidal thoughts.
I won’t give him what he wants, but I can’t stop him from posting anything. Just don’t judge me from what he says. I suffered from my addiction for a long time, and I have a lot of problems from it, and I’m deeply ashamed.
I wrote and deleted this blog several times over the past few days, but I guess I might as well let everyone know that I’m prepared for the worst. I’d like to ask everyone to refuse to read it, but let’s be realistic. Some of it might be lies, but some of it might be truth, and that scares me most.
I’m really sorry.
This is how seriously dangerous social media can be:
I met a guy several years ago on this very site and befriended him. I won’t say his name because it turned out to be a fake name. He came into the chat often and I added him on Yahoo and MSN, two accounts that I no longer use, and we hit it up nicely. He said some awkward things at times, but I brushed them off as some sort of disconnect with using the internet to chat. He was banned from GA a few months later, which caught me as a surprise, but from what I gathered from other people was he was being sexually inappropriate. I never asked the admins because I know they shouldn’t have to explain themselves, but I did ask this Person (let’s call him Person), and Person told me that he was being bullied and misunderstood. I asked why they would think he was being inappropriate and he said he made some comments about children that they misunderstood as perverted.
I considered it all one misunderstanding until one night he confided with me that he was sexually attracted to younger children. It took a long time to coax it out of him, and he did seem properly ashamed of himself, but I instinctively wanted to hit the block button, but I kept thinking, “He cannot control how he feels, it’s like being gay” and told him I would stay his friend as long as he never acted on it. He agreed, and we kept talking, but several months in, he started dropping small comments about children and his urges that made me uncomfortable. I told him how I felt, and he said he would stop talking about completely. He said I was his closest friend and no one else understood him. The problem is, I never understood him either, but I kept thinking that if I was talking to him, he wasn’t out there doing the unthinkable.
Then one night, he told me he was going to download child pornography, and I told him I was done with being his friend. I took screenshots of the conversation and sent them to the local police department where Person said he lived (which he lied about). The next day, he told me he did not act out on his impulses because he lied about the whole thing for attention. I was NOT cool with that and said several things that would scare a nun, but somehow, I believed he was sincerely sorry, so I kept talking to him. It became a habit, I would talk to him every morning while he was at work, and every evening until he came home. He told me he was going to rejoin GA under a different name because he changed his IP address. I told him not too that I wouldn’t talk to him in chat, which I didn’t, but he was quickly found out and banned again (the admins are good at what they do <3 ). I talked to him so much that I quickly realized that we were talking almost every hour on the hour.
I backed off, and that really upset Person. He made me believe that I was being indifferent and that he was a victim from it, so I would talk to him again and apologize. Wash, rinse repeat. The more I tried to sidle away, the more persistent he would get. He kept saying I made his life bearable and our friendship meant everything to him, and that evolved into something more sinister the more I tried to break away.
Then one day, I found his photos on someone’s profile on this other social site. I confronted that person for stealing his images and they proved to me that it was sincerely them and that Person had stolen the photos. I confronted Person who immediately admitted to lying and apologized. Like an idiot, I kept talking to him again, but the more I pruned him out, the worse his attitude got until he flat out told me that if I stopped talking to him he would kill himself. That was the final straw, I blocked him on my MSN and stopped using my YIM. I set up a Skype account and never went back.
Out of the blew a couple of years ago, I get a friend request from someone named Seth, saying they knew me from GA and wanted to add me. I accepted, and we started talking and it did not take long to figure out who I was chatting to and I blocked him. Then I got a friend request on Facebook which turned out to be him because I was foolish enough to give him some personal information. I blocked him. Pretty soon it became another Wash, Rinse, Repeat cycle. He would make a fake profile, I would add him, then block him. Eventually I stopped adding unknown names altogether and this is where it gets really disturbing, I would get invites from familiar names, people I know from high school or college and it would turn out to be him. I told him to stop, he said he got the memo and would stop for a few days, but then another fake profile would want me to add them, so I deleted my Facebook.
Somehow, after that, he found me on a Pokemon forum by googling my email address, then he found another social media profile that I had on another site. I stopped using both while getting receiving invites on Skype almost every day. Towards the end, and currently, the only sites I would go to is GA, and even then, I knew he was phishing for my information on here too somehow. About a year ago, I got a phone call in the middle of the night from a guy who said he was a friend from high school and got my number from my wife (not true) and it turned out to be him. I changed my number and kept blocking him, but I finally went to the police station. They took a report, but they said it was unlikely they could do anything unless he showed up at my house.
Which he did, yesterday. I got a knock on the door and answered it, someone unfamiliar was standing there and started asking if I was Lacey. I was like, “Do I know you?” and he started to try to side step inside so I closed the door to a crack and he told me that he was Person and came because I asked him to come. I was really alarmed by then so I tried to shut the door but he put his fingers around it so I slammed it shut on his hands, and that’s where he started shouting that he did all this for me and was going to kill me and himself. Jamie called the police and we managed to get the door shut, and my neighbor came outside with a gun, A GUN, but Person would not budge and kept kicking at my door, and the police arrested him and towed his rental, but I was disturbed, and went to the courthouse and got an emergency restraining order against him.
This morning, he was back and knocked out my downstairs window, and I had to call the police again and he stood outside screaming bloody murder until they arrived. He was threatening to kill himself which the cops heard so I know he’s going to be held on some sort of mental hold, which is probably the best thing for him, he’s clearly not well.
I gave him a lot of personal information over the years, but he also got my phone number, address, and everything else about me from social media.
It’s THAT easy.
I want everyone to know this because I have disappeared from my internet life, but I’m also begging everyone who does know me NOT to talk about me to anyone you don’t know. If someone adds you, even someone you think you know, and starts talking about me, just report him to an admin.
Let it also serve as a lesson. You might think you know someone online, but everyone out there can be a potential Person. Be warned, be vigilant, and never give out your personal information until you are 100% satisfied, and even then, be cautious. On GA, I know we’ve seen our share of fakes and scandals, and the admins are usually good about handling them so GA is a jewel to me, but other sites are not as aware. People find their soulmates on social media every day, and some unlucky people, like me, find nightmares. I was young and foolish, and now I probably have to uproot my life and move. There are consequences, and sometimes they’re severe.
I had to bury two parents relatively close to each other, and they were not perfect parents by any means, but when they died, it still left an aching hole in me that took several years to get past. When I started dating Jamie, though, her whole family accepted me, even LIKED me, especially her father, who is almost the greatest guy you could ever meet. He has a big heart, and an even bigger family, so there’s plenty of love to go around. I can call any of her siblings and have a good conversation with them, and feel happier getting off the phone, and if I called her father, he would beg me to come meet for lunch, or go out together just because. He told me a few nights ago that he’s very proud to have me as a son, and I had to duck out of the room for a while to keep my composure straight. It feels like the end of a fairy tale, where you live happily ever after.
Except, that doesn’t really happen.
My biological father has wandered back into my life for the past three years in some sort of vague attempt to be a father again. It seemed promising at first. He moved out west and got this well-paying job, has a fiance, custody of my sister Emily, and the all American dream because he’s in the country legally now. I even sent Noah up to Wyoming to live with him when my financial stability became ruined. My other brother left with Layla to go live there after getting hired at the same company my father works, and it left me alone in Tennessee with only one other brother who lives an hour and a half away and never calls. Before Noah and Joey left to go to Wyoming, he would call weekly, he would ask if they were still coming, I’d say yes and try some small talk, then he would hurriedly end the call. It was awkward.
I drove up to Wyoming to see him, dropping Noah off in the progress, back in November 2016. It was not a bad visit overall, his fiance seemed nice, her two kids were friendly, Emily was sullen and a typical teen, but talking to my dad seemed strained and uncomfortable. I tried to rationalize it that we are virtual strangers to each other. It made sense.
After Joey left with Layla, the only phone calls I received where in preparation to sign over custody of Noah and Layla to him. After that, the phone calls stopped. Two years later, my brother had his second child, Isabella on February 1, and my dad took a flight out to Tennessee to meet her and supposedly spend time with us. That’s when I called my brother to ask if our dad had made it yet, and he said that he’s been there for days already and everyone was having a blast. I got off the phone feeling very confused because no one had bothered to call me. I, then, called my dad acting like the phone call with my brother never happened, and he admitted he was in town and would come visit the next day. True to his word, he came to my apartment and sat at my table for an hour, chain smoking, and barely saying a word while his fiance chatted away with me, then they left.
I felt stumped at his behavior and called my sister in law and asked if he had been so quiet there. She said no, that he had been happy, out spoken, and very proud of his new granddaughter. I felt even more bewildered after that. They leave to go home, and no one has called me since. I tried to shrug it away, but my brain has been whirling nonstop since he left almost two weeks ago. I tried to rationalize it again, maybe he had been drinking and loosened up, maybe he was speaking Spanish the whole time, and felt more comfortable. Then, the question popped up: maybe he LIKED them more.
I don’t have a Facebook because I’ve been dealing with a stalker for a couple of years and I truly just don’t want one, but I did decide to go on to Jamie’s profile and look my dad up. His profile was public, so I started looking into his feed. There were pictures of him, Noah, Layla, my brothers, his recent visit to Tennessee, and everything a normal feed would have. There was also a numerous amount of anti LGBT propaganda on it too. My heart sank. He was sharing all this nonsense that gay was a lifestyle, a choice, and that trans people are freaks of natures. It literally said freaks of nature. Biological sex is the ONLY gender, etc. It made sense to me, then, why he had been so rigid.
And now I can’t seem to take it out of my mind. He’s been no father to me, so it shouldn’t bother me, but it really does. I WANT him to like me just as much as my brothers, but he thinks I’m a freak. A lot of people think I’m a freak, but HE thinks it too. I’m without words.
I should be thankful that I have Jamie’s dad instead, but I can’t get into that mindset. I look like my real father and knowing that he looks at me and is disgusted really makes my stomach churn. I’m angry because WHAT DOES HE KNOW, but the depression is stronger than the anger. I want to just let it go.
I have been off my autoimmune hepatitis medication for almost a whole month without any flare up. My doctor figures I'm in remission, but it's hard to be sure because the immune suppressants I take for my liver can also treat the autoimmune disorder in small degrees. It's a start, and without my body tearing itself to pieces, my doctor might be right; my condition is chronic, not terminal. He didn't like that little joke of mine, and to be honest, I don't think I did either.
I'm still taking it day by day. I sleep mostly, decently, for the first time in a long time. I wake up near afternoon every day, and I check my emails (no emails usually), I check my skype (nothing new usually) and I check around GA for new things. I did sign up to go back to school and finally get my bachelors so once January comes around, I'll be a lot more busy. I'll be glad of that. It's a terrible feeling being lonely, but at least I'll be busy and lonely for now on.
My stalker is still at large. He emails me, not as often as he use to, but maybe once a week. I ignore them, sometimes I don't open them at all and just delete them. He's been threatening to come to my city and look for me. I'd like to see him find me in the fourth largest city in Tennessee. I'm hoping he doesn't, but he likes to remind me every so often that I-75 is quite close to his house and runs right through Chattanooga. He also started acting like GA members and sending me emails pretending to be them based on threads I've liked. I don't know who he is on GA, but he's been banned before, he'll be banned again for sure. I think he's mostly just talk. Something is wrong with him.
Married life isn't much different from dating life. Jamie works a lot. It's dull.
I'm going to change my email soon. I'll let everyone know when I've done it, but in secret, because I only want a few people to know it.
I’m 26 and I’m currently not working or will be working in the near future. I wish I could say that it’s because I’m retiring early due to my prodigious skills and smart money handling but it’s not. I actually lost my most recent job because of the same reason I lost my previous job; I missed too much work. I keep getting sick and going to the hospital, and I miss so much work that I either get fired for “pointing out” or terminated because of my poor job performance. I don’t want to make excuses for myself, but if you were to ask me for one, I’d have it. I took this last job thinking that if I got sick again, I could be legally protected by the FMLA act, but I didn’t realize that there was a minimum requirement of a year at the company before being eligible.
So, I bit the bullet and applied for disability. My medical history was just submitted but I know I’ll get rejected right off because almost everyone does. When and if I do eventually get it, I’m only looking at $730 dollars a month to live on, at least, that’s my average from everyone on disability I spoke to. I’m not sure how anyone can survive on that, and I already feel guilty for being a leech off taxpayers when I technically ruined my health faster with bad lifestyle choices.
I mostly sit around my apartment these days and watch tv or surf the internet. I don’t have very many friends anymore and the ones who are still here are working, and no one really talks to me online either. I had one friend I always thought I could depend on to talk to, but he’s so insanely busy that I’m better off not bothering him. Other than that, I’m just alone. It gives more of a definition to “rootless existence” that most nights I’m just wondering if it’s worth continuing on.
Maybe time will tell.
Now that I'm at an ideal weight, I think it's time to fine tune my diet. I don't eat a lot of red meat or a huge amount of junk food, but I'm not guiltless either. Problem is, I'm not a very great cook, but I've taken a few classes at college, and I'm ready to stop getting my meals through a drive thru, I'm just not sure what to cook, but whatever it is, it needs to be healthy and affordable because I'm dirt poor and I can't afford to be sick anymore. I was thinking about asking around for some recipes so I can make a shopping list this weekend, and from what I've seen here, a lot of people know good food. I need some recipes!
I know it seems picky but I can't do any red meat, and I need to have minimal pasta and breads. That's why I'm having trouble now, because I seem to only cook pasta and breaded food.
Any websites that could help are welcome too. I looked at allrecipes.com but I didn't see a health food option. T_T
I know if I eat better, I will feel better. I'm battling a kidney infection right now so I've taken soda out of my diet for good today, and I won't look back. I just need help.
SO HALP ME!
PS: I don't eat salads. Can't help it.
I haven’t blogged in a long time, and maybe it’s because I’m older and more self conscious about the baloney that pours out of my noodle, who knows, but I thought I’d give it a go again. A few things have happened this year that I’ve failed to properly brag about: like getting married! It’s true, I’m not a single pringle anymore. I never actually pictured myself marrying a woman, but if you met Jamie, you’d understand why I did. Too bad she’s married, sucks for you.
I’m on the waiting list for another transplant. I know that seems extremely scary being so blunt like that, so allow me to clarify. Liver transplants take a crazy long time. I had a meld score years before my transplant and only when I started going into acute liver failure did they bump me up and, well, saved my life. I have a meld score, it’s probably really low priority because I won’t be needing a new liver for a while. I was under the impression that I wouldn’t need one for a good twenty years, but auto immune hepatitis is so unpredictable, and you just can’t argue with cirrhosis. All autoimmune disorders are complicated. I’ve been in and out of the hospital a few times because I’ve stopped responding to medication that both suppresses my immune system and keeps my liver from destroying itself like most transplant recipients, or from the medicine that prevents my immune system from attacking my liver because of the autoimmune disorder. It’s easy to write about blatantly, but more complicated to properly describe how it’s actually quite a serious ordeal. I am not guaranteed to ever be properly healthy again. I get sick from the low immune system, I have hypertension from my medication, a small UTI becomes a serious infection that has me hospitalized, etc.
Oh, and eating grapefruit, pomegranates, and certain oranges are absolutely sins, and they are probably the main culprits that led to me spending two weeks in the hospital back in October. No one told me that they can stop an immune suppressant medication from working, but I certainly was held responsible for it by my doctor which leads me to my random blog ideation this fine 3 am in the morning: diets.
Obesity is a major concern after a liver transplant. I am not overweight by any means, in fact, I’m quite underweight. Some people would call me lucky, but I’m uncertain. I have a skinny perspective, and I’ve never been fat so truthfully it’s really hard to put myself in the shoes of someone who worries constantly about being too large. I do feel uncomfortable when people glorify my size and say “I wish I was as skinny as you” so I imagine it’s similar? I don’t know. I’m not fat, I can only try to imagine.
Back on subject….
When I first had my transplant and my coordinator gave me a diet sheet, I waved it off as trivial. I don’t need a proper diet, I’m skinny and free to eat whatever I want. I pretty much went back to my old eating habits because nutrition couldn’t possibly play a huge part in a thin person’s health. Well a few times in the hospital aggravated my doctor who also pushed a diet plan at me. Since he was a liver specialist, I paid more attention. Maybe my diet wasn’t ideal after all. So I laid off the red meat at first, and then when I developed hypertension, I started weeding out a lot of the sugar, fat, and salt. I can’t be sure that it worked but my doctor was a lot happier with me so I kept at it, and when I got married, Jamie managed to make sure that I was very consistent with my diet because she is a liver cancer survivor and she sticks to the same diet as me for the most part.
So today, Jamie starts talking about how much discipline is involved in a vegan diet. I rolled my eyes of course, because she already gave the steaks I bought away to keep me from eating them so I was sore on the subject of food, but I also get self conscious when she starts being health oriented. I don’t exercise, and she does. I eat what I want, although a lot better than before, I still drink soda everyday and don’t have to watch my figure, but Jamie does. She is bothered by the fact that she outweighs the guy in the relationship. She doesn’t know I know, but I do. So when she starts talking about a raw vegan food diet, I know it’s because she has insecurities and she only means well for the both of us. I listen and shrug it off, but I did go on google and type in raw vegan diet. I found myself on youtube watching this girl’s channel called Raw Alignment. She lives on an raw vegan diet, and apparently a huge fan of minimalism and organic food, and lots of things that honestly make me cringe, but I gave a few of her videos a go, and what concerned me wasn’t that she was a vegan and only had one fork and spoon in her entire house, but what her diet actually was: a banana and papaya smoothie with powdered protein before and after her exercise in the morning, then a banana and papaya smoothie mixed with rice for lunch, and a salad with dressing for dinner. The salad was literally just lettuce. She eats this everyday. A snack might be a tomato or mango between meals, but that’s her whole life. My first thought: THAT CANNOT BE HEALTHY. And to me, she seems preachy in her videos about it. An organic, minimalist life is the only way towards self love and proper health, in her opinion. I kept thinking about the idea that Jamie might want to cultivate herself to be more like this.
And maybe it works for her, again, I don’t know. I’m not even sure where my point is going. I think that my diet is very important to me because it does play a large part in my overall health, but I don’t believe that everyone needs an overly healthy diet. I know people look at me and feel disgusted because I can drink a lot of soda and only be 110 lbs and they can’t, and sometimes I wish I could just shout at them, “I CAN’T EAT A CHEESEBURGER EVERYDAY BECAUSE MY LIVER HATES ME!” too.
I guess being judgmental doesn’t really do anything though. I can judge Raw Alignment for her strict diet, or preach about how obesity is on the rise and people SHOULD eat healthier, but who am I to do that? I’m on a diet because I chose to use drugs and exacerbated my disease. I have NO right to look someone in the eye and tell them they are too fat or too skinny. Still, I think it’s interesting how much of an impact a diet has on someone. I can’t imagine living on papayas, but I could afford to lay off the soda a little…. A lot….. It’s thought provoking. I might look at what I eat a little more closely now.
I want cheesecake.
When my truck was stolen, so was my rent and utility money. I'm without a job right now, it's been rough, but it looks like it's going to get rougher starting the 15th. I'm trying to get the money, but it looks like it won't come in time. I'll probably be facing eviction. The thought of being homeless is pretty terrifying and embarrassing. I'm quite ashamed, but hopefully I'll find somewhere to go and things will get better from there. If I suddenly vanish for a while, I'm sorry, but I'll try not to do that.
It's a matter of waiting, trying to be productive, and earning some money in the meantime. Wish me luck!
I recently got in contact with an old "friend", who told me he was also living the clean life now. We'll call him Dale (mostly because that's his name).
Short story: Dale stole my truck. He waited until I was gone and made off with it.
They just found him in Knoxville attempting to sell it.
Lesson learned: the past is probably best kept there when it comes to drugs.
One of the most paramount achievements of my life was that first six months of sobriety. With it, came the liver transplant that I proudly have maintained staying clean for. It’s been roughly five year, going on six years, since I received this liver, and although I may need another one eventually, I have been relatively healthy since, and I’m satisfied that I managed to climb that wall of adversity. I thought I would share the experience.
Most of the damage to my liver did not come from drugs but from an autoimmune disorder called autoimmune hepatitis. Basically, my body thinks that I have hepatitis and attacks my liver. When you combine that with excessive drinking and drug input, you get some serious cirrhosis in a relatively short time. By the time I was 15, it was apparent that I was going to have to make some changes, which I refused up until the ultimatum was clear: I either continue with my lifestyle or I die.
Now I won’t go into the struggle to get sober because I’ve preached about it SO incredibly much. All I’m going to say is it was hard, and it felt like forever away. Once I was sober we got started by putting me on a list with a meld score for a new liver because my liver was failing.
And I got my surgery within the year. My liver was rapidly failing, and if you never experienced liver pain before, well, I applaud you. It’s the worst pain I have ever endured. It was like being stabbed in the ribcage, or someone was burning me alive from the inside out. It got to the point where I couldn’t even touch my right side without unbearable pain. During this time, I met with a transplant consultant and a team that specialized in making sure I was prepared for the procedure when the time came. I’m talking about people who literally bent over backward to make sure I was educated on what life looked like afterwards, but what really kept me going was my specialist, Dr. Patel. He made sure I was taking my steroids, that I met with him once every two weeks (once a week when I got worse). He cared about my health so much, that sometimes I felt like it was HIS body in jeopardy, not mine.
By the end of November of 2009, I woke up to find that my whole body had turned yellow, and the pain was too much to bear. A trip to the emergency room later, I was told that it was time for the operation, and I would be transported to Nashville for the surgery.
A surgery that almost didn’t happen actually. I won’t go into fine details about it, because it’s a painful subject, but I was a recovering addict, and the idea that I was getting a new liver over some possible suffering kid out there was agonizing. Why me? What did I do to deserve this liver over someone else? I wasn’t pure. I wasn’t worthy. I was only next in line because my meld score had changed, and that was the ONLY reason. I suffered from this feeling long after I had the transplant. I imagine it’s some sort of survivor’s guilt, but I never got it officially categorized because I never told anyone, except my boyfriend at the time.
I knew that after the procedure meant a lifetime of medication and structure. Structure for a teenager, even at 18, is pretty much unheard of. But by the end of December I was home, with over 13 different medications, high blood pressure, and a bad mood for the next three months. Recovery was the hard part, it always is. I leaned on GA for most of the support, and I may have even been attention seeking a little bit then, but hey, I was young and lonely. I met some great people on here, and I’m grateful for their support because I didn’t think I would ever make it to this point.
But I did, and here I am. Currently I’m down to six medications. My immune system is suppressed, I’ve dropped a big amount of red meat from my life, and I’ve gained a healthy amount of weight since the surgery. I’m alive and happy, and couldn’t be more proud of myself.
I want to thank some people. People like Drewbie, Mark Arbour, Jamessavik, Myr, MikeL, and a bunch of other people that know who they are. You’ve inspired me to keep going, and you have my gratitude.
I’d love to hear about similar experiences, it always motivates me. So if you have a story for me, leave it in the comments below.
I’m no stranger to ignorance; I live in Tennessee after all, but today a friend asked me a question that really made me think. She asked if I ever thought about being a girl since I was biologically female. Now it may come off as a simple yes and no question, but it’s not. The truth is, sometimes I identify as having female qualities. Sometimes I even wonder if I may be wrong about my gender, but at the end of the day I still consider myself male. And it can confuse a lot of people, I definitely understand this, but the world is not black and white and the complexity of it should be appreciated more.
So here’s how it works with the human sexuality:
You have your sex: male, female, or intersex. Sex is invariable. There is surgery to alter the sex physically, but it’s still inherently part of one’s biology.
Next is gender which ranges from identifying as male, female, both or neither. Gender is decided by the brain, and this is where it gets complicated here because it’s impossible to categorize every person into these groups because no one fits just one classification perfectly. Someone can be female, but admit that she has male like tendencies. Sex does not determine the pronoun to use, gender does. So if you have a biological female with a gender identity of male, then if you want to be respectful, use male pronouns.
If the biological sex does not match up with gender identity then that means the person is transgendered. If it does match up, that person is cisgendered.
Now there is sexuality or sexual orientation, which means you are attracted to either male, female, or both or there’s no sexual attraction at all. Contrary to some opinions, I firmly believe that sexuality is not a choice. There is straight, bisexual, homosexual, and asexual.
Then there is sexual behavior which simply is defined how someone acts with their sexual orientation. For example, you can have a straight man who is attracted to females, but is celibate.
With all this information, it might be said that it’s easier to label people now, but that’s not the case. People move across these spectrums with time. Take me for example, two years ago, I identified as being homosexual, but I realized later on that I can be attracted to females, so I consider myself bisexual now.
One of my favorite people, Hank Green, put it nicely:
So if you want to be respectful to me, then here's a little bit about me: I am biologically female with a male gender identity, although I do have female like aspects. I am bisexual and not celibate. I am transgendered and I cannot help that, so I humbly ask to be regarded with male pronouns.
First I read about Trebs, then Robbin Williams, I never knew how mortal I could feel until recently. You see, I never met either Robert or Robbin, but I feel the pain of loss of someone who was part of my life. I’m truly devastated.
But then I remember what John Green said about infinity:
They were both a part of my own infinity and I cannot word how their loss has impacted my world beautifully enough to make anything profound here. They’re gone and I’m still trudging through without them. And just like my mom, the wound will eventually heal, and I will think of them less and less, but for right now, I wanted to say something that will be permanent and in tribute for them both. Something I can look back on and remember the ache I’m feeling right now because it’s a good ache, the kind you need in life.
I don’t want to see them slip so soundly from my life. I want them here, tangible, and protected by the pain of this world, but maybe I’m asking for too much. The last comment I got from Robert, he said he wanted to be there for me if I ever need it, and now that I need it, he’s gone. Life is so unfair.
But it’s so magnificent too.
It's no secret that I'm a drug addict, and I've been going to Narcotics Anonymous for a couple of years now, but I finally decided to stop going because it just doesn't work for an atheist. The whole system is flawed. I tried just about everything including alternating my "higher power" to something other than God, yet, they still shove God down my throat every fucking meeting. Not to mention their pushy messages that being sober only works if you attend meetings.
For anyone who doesn't know what a 12 step program is, well it's simple: A 12 step program is a system designed to help control sobriety through 12 steps. Like I said, simple. It's suppose to help modify or create a new code of behavior. Here are the twelve steps:
My problem is I'm simply not religious, and I never found a substitute that worked for my "higher power". The one thing the 12 step program screams at me is CULT CULT CULT, and maybe it's not a cult in a traditional sense, but to me, it feels like one. Not to mention, no matter what higher power you choose, the program fails to identify what actually triggers someone into drug use. Stress? Debt? Inability to function sexually? No, it merely wants God to remove all the defects.
Overall, it comes off as somewhat sinister to me, know-what-I'm-sayin? You get someone who is morally ambiguous, down on his/her luck, and totally at rock bottom, and instead of addressing what might be fueling their addiction, religion is thrust upon them while they are vulnerable. And religion might actually work for some addicts, but how long does someone stay sober when stress comes knocking and they are uneducated on how to deal with said stress?
My advice for any addicts reading this: AA and NA work to some degree, but in order to stay sober, you need to know what your triggers are, not to simply pray that God will give you the power to say nay because in the end it comes down to your ability to find structure and change negative behavior. What has worked for me in the past is rehab, therapy, and finding friendship (and I can't stress this enough). As Carl Sagan so wisely said in Contact:
So let me reiterate. Finding religion may fill some void of emptiness, but ask yourself if filling an empty void will change your behavior for the better. If not, then my advice is to start with rehab and go from there.
Legit. I've been sober for some time now, and it's still a battle everyday to overcome those cravings. It's like an itch just barely out of reach. That twitching desperation. Yet, I'm not scratching so I figure I have some right to major gloating.
Oh yeah, oh baby, I'm the bomb.
Not really. The fact is, I'm not satisfied with just being sober. There's a big aching hole that's leftover from all the damage I caused. My health was ruined, my social life was over, and rebuilding that has been a disaster. I started working out more, and there's a little improvement so hopefully my mood will be affected for the better.
There was a time in my life where I was laying down in some filthy trailer staring up through a dirty glass table at the booze bottles watching the world spin. I would go to parties where we would throw whatever we had in a bowl and go with it. Hydrocodone, codeine, oxycodone, Ecstasy, Adderall, xanax, oxycontin. One time I took shrooms with ecstasty because someone stupid told me that the shrooms would mellow out the E, but I was up all night hiding behind some rock because WWIII was sending out the jets. I had sex with who knows how many people, just for fun or for money. If the meth wasn't there, I wasn't buying.
What's my point?
The point is, I've done it, and it's no picnic. All that glamour is a big fat illusion made to pull in teens looking for a way out of their misery and turn them into suburban stalking, drug abusing creatures that will never escape the torture of addiction. It never goes away, and you're never going to feel whole again.
Something to think about next time there's temptation.
I've been volunteering at the community kitchen for a couple of years now, and I've gotten to know a lot of the homeless people who come in there, and one of them is Franklin. He's in his 60's and can't really take care of himself, but he's really nice to everyone. This morning he came in for breakfast barefoot, and I asked where his shoes were since it was so cold outside. He said someone stole them off him while he was sleeping.
I found a pair of old shoes in my trunk that I use to work on cars with. They didn't quite fit, but it's better than nothing else.
The son of a bitch who stole his shoes should suffer greatly. That's beyond low.